Press Room

Welcome from 2014 Race Director:

Please join us as the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens celebrates three decades of tradition and thoroughbreds. This festive fall day is certainly the ultimate venue of entertainment! With its five sanctioned races, our annual event brings together families, friends, corporate clients, and equestrian enthusiasts to enjoy a day unlike any other. Truly, there is something for everyone!

Opportunities to view the ‘Chase are abundant whether you choose a spot in the elegant Guarantor Tent or simply want to enjoy the Infield with a picnic lunch.  Be sure to check out our Horace and Lauara (1)Jack Russell Terrier Races, the Southern Views Hat Contest, and the Carmike Kids Corral. Better yet…buy a raffle ticket for a chance to win a fabulous trip to St. Lucia and come bid on the unique items in the Wells Fargo Auction Tent!

Give us a call to customize your perfect Steeplechase experience. Our committee chairmen and volunteers have been hard at work for months ensuring the success of your Race-Day! Remember your participation supports the future of the Arts in our community.

Hope to see you there on November 1st!

Laura S. Wickham

Event Details


The Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens will host its 30th Running on November 1, 2014.

Steeplechase is a competitive sporting event that provides spectators an opportunity to watch the thrills, smarts and athletic ability of Thoroughbred race horses as they jump over 52” high hurdles at premium speeds. Thoroughbreds, almost all of them converted from flat racing, compete in 12 states at some 36 National Steeplechase Association (NSA) stops both in the spring and fall of every year. They have lineages proven with official Jockey Club registration papers, and are ridden by the top steeplechase jockeys in the nation.

The Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens has been one of these meets for the past 30 years. Mason Lampton, Race Chairman, was the visionary who combined his love of steeplechasing with the community’s needs. “Our mission has always been to support the arts in the community, using the steeplechase as a vehicle to do so,” says Mason. He continues, “This has proven to be a positive experience for everyone, both in the area of adding an additional sporting event which is entertaining for anyone at any age, as well as allowing us to contribute more than $3,300,000 to the Arts in the region.”

The 2-3/8 mile course near Callaway Gardens has been cited as one of the most beautiful in the United States. The 200-acre site is cradled in hardwoods and statuesque Georgia pines with rolling hills overlooking Pine Mountain Ridge. The scenery is punctuated with striking colors of the changing leaves. It is a wonderful setting for a day in the country.


2013 Proceeds:

2013 was another successful year and allowed us to distribute $162,000 to our 5 beneficiaries: The Columbus Museum, The Columbus Symphony Orchestra, The Historic Columbus Foundation, The Springer Opera House and The Ida Cason Callaway Foundation. An additional partnership with the Auburn Veterinary College of Medicine is made possible through the proceeds.

2014 Race Director:

Laura S. Wickham is this year’s Race Director and Marie W. Arnold is Operations Chairman. It promises to be another great year for our race.


This year’s total purse for The Steeplechase at Callaway is $160,000. “It is extremely important to keep our purse at the upper level,” says Mason, “…so you have quality horses who put on a quality show. It ensures your race has the best trainers and riders so our patrons are watching the best of the best in steeplechasing. After all, without the horses, there is no steeplechase!”

Sponsor Support:

Thanks to the generosity and long-standing support of Aflac, The Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens continues the tradition of the Aflac U.S. Supreme Hurdle Novice Series Race with a total purse of $50,000 for this race alone. “The Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens is a high-energy, premiere event. What it has done for the arts in our region is tremendous, and Aflac is truly proud of its long association with this pre-eminent landmark in steeplechase racing,” says Kathelen Amos, President, Aflac Foundation.

Another great, faithful benefactor, Don Leebern, III, with Georgia Crown, also enthusiastically embraces our Race with their sponsorship of the Crown Royal Stakes. This race is for fillies and mares and carries a purse of $50,000. “We are honored to be able to support an event of this quality in our community,” says Don Leebern, III. “It has always been a great day for me; enjoying family and friends, as well as watching the Thoroughbreds compete.”

Race Information:

  • There are a total of Seven Races (Five sanctioned by the National Steeplechase Association).
  • Gates Open at 10 a.m.
  • Race A: Maxine Strupe Perpetual Pony Race sponsored by Wells Fargo, Race at 12 p.m. Purse: $200.
  • Race B: V’Roooom Junior Hunter Race, Race at 12:30 p.m. Purse: $200.
  • First Race: The Columbus Bank and Trust Maiden Hurdle, Race at 1 p.m. Purse: $15,000.
  • Second Race: The Standard Concrete Company Unlimited Claiming Hurdle, Race at 1:30 p.m. Purse: $25,000.
  • Third Race: Aflac Championship Supreme Hurdle, Race at 2 p.m. Purse: $50,000.
  • Fourth Race: Crown Royal Stakes Run In Memory of George Sloan, Race at 2:30 p.m. Purse: $50,000.
  • Fifth Race: W.C. Bradley Maiden Timber, Race at 3 p.m. Purse: $25,000.
  • The post-race celebration will be held following the last race.

Race Day Activities:

  • A sample of our tentative race day schedule is posted on our website. Here are some highlights:
  • Stick Pony Races for kids ages 10 & under.
  • Lite 107.3 FM Tailgate Competition.
  • Ledger Enquirer “Best Box” Competition.
  • Southern Views Hat Contest- Winning categories are: “Most Whimsical,” “Most Beautiful,” and “Best Children’s Hat.” As part of this event, there will be a Parade of Hats that will include all the contestants.
  • Jack Russell Terrier Races will have three separate heats. Come early as they will run at 11:30 a.m.
  • The Taste of the Chase will again have Country’s Barbecue, along with other concessions in the Infield offering lemonade, ice cream and funnel cakes and more.